Visual Storytelling

Coding and decoding meaning

Visual storytelling requires an understanding of communication theory:

  • how images are coded with meaning/s – and how these are affected by the particular skills and views of the illustrator.
  • how viewers might then decode these images – how those meanings are read.
  • ‘noise’ affecting the relationship between the two – whether it should be eliminated or accommodated. The type of ‘noise’ will vary depending on who is looking at the work, where they are, and their cultural standpoint.
Narrative structure



For links to posts on specific illustrators and animators see menu on right. Key texts highlighted in bold.

Visual Communications and design

  • Baldwin, J. & Roberts, L., (2006) Visual Communication: from research to practice, London: Bloomsbury Publishing plc.
  • Barlow, H., Blakemore, C. & Weston-Smith, M. (eds.) (1990) Images and Understanding, Cambridge, New Yorlk, Port Chester, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bell, R. & Sinclair, M., (2005) Pictures and Words: New comic art and narrative illustration, London: Lawrence King Publishing.
  • Bishop, C. (ed.) (2006) Participation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: MIT Press.
  • Blazer, L., (2016) Animated Storytelling: simple steps for creating animation and motion graphics, USA: Peachpit Press.
  • Davis, M., (2012) Graphic Design Theory, London: Thames and Hudson.
    Downs, S., (2012) The Graphic Communication Handbook, London, New York: Routledge.
  • Hall, S., (2012) This Means This, That Means That: a user’s guide to semiotics, London: Laurence King Publishing.
  • Jason Lankow, J. R., Ross Crooks, (2012) Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling, New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons inc.
  • Julier, G., (2014) The Culture of Design Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC: Sage Publications.
  • Kepes, G. & Giedion, S., (1944) Language of Vision, USA: Wisconsin Cuneo Press.
  • Kristof, R. & Satran, A., Interactivity by Design: creating and communicating with new media, Moutnain View USA: Adobe Press.
  • Macario, J. W., (2009) Graphic Design Essentials: Skills, software and creative solutions, London: Lawrence King Publishing.
  • Noble, I. & Bestley, R., (2001) Experimental Layout, East Sussex, UK: Rotovision SA.
  • Noble, I. & Bestley, R., (2016) Visual Research: an introduction to research methods in graphic design, London: Bloomsbury Publishing plc.
  • Rihde, M., (2013) The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note teaking, USA: Peachpit Press.
  • Rose, G., (2016) Visual Methodologies: and introduction to researching with visual materials, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi,Singapore, WashingtonDC, Melbourn: Sage Publications.
  • Taussig, M., (2011) I swear I saw this: drawings in fieldwork notebooks, namely my own, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
  • Tharp, T., (2003) The Creative Habit: learn it and use it for life, New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks.

To be added:

  • resources on participatory development and theories of change
  • Adobe Animate and javascript handbooks